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  • Writer's pictureSt. James by-the-Sea

St. James building construction update!

The new St. James Organ in Canandaigua, New York

It is almost time! The pipes are up and playing in the shop of Parsons Pipe Organ Builders in Canandaigua, New York. Music Director, Alex Benestelli, along with St. James' parishioners Paul and Debbie Cleveland, got to see and hear it last month. The efforts of so many people made this beautiful instrument possible, and we will soon disassemble our new organ and transport it to La Jolla.

The organ is currently set up in the expansive facilities at Parsons Pipe Organ Builders, but here at St. James it will be housed in beautiful organ cases. In order to support the weight of these organ cases, large steel structures are attached to the walls in the chancel and welded together. See this week's update from Fr. Mark:

New Handicap Access Ramp

While the building has been under construction, and thanks to the generosity of the many people who have contributed to the campaign, we decided to take on a few additional building projects to make the interior of St. James the best that it can be. A new sound system is going in so the congregation can hear clearly when someone is speaking, and a new lighting system will replace our old, outdated can-lights and dimmer switches. Importantly, our handicap access ramp has been replaced and upgraded to fit the standards of the American with Disabilities Act. The whole church received a fresh coat of paint for the first time in decades, and restoration is underway of the canopy above the altar. The building is all coming together now thanks to our talented contractors, welders, electricians, engineers, painters, designers, and artists.

Next month we will ship the first part of the new organ from New York to California for installation. This first phase will include the arrival of the organ cases, façade pipes, and most of the Solo, Pedal, and Antiphonal organ. Because the organ is so large, the remaining pipes in the Great, Swell, and Choir divisions, along with the organ console, will be transported and installed in September.

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